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Fields: Ellison Ignores North Minneapolis

The Fifth District Republican challenger argues that last May's tornado highlighted Ellison's ineffectiveness.

Chris Fields, the Fifth District Republican challenger to incumbent Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), took to the Star Tribune opinion section to criticize Ellison's focus on North Minneapolis.

In the commentary piece, posted Sunday, Fields argues that Ellison has continually ignored the area, especially in the aftermath of last May's tornado:

A continual lack of focus by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat representing the Fifth District, led to a failure in making the case for the North Side in Washington. Who else is there to make the case? Instead, Ellison focuses on issues in the Middle East concerning Palestinians, Syrians and Egyptians. They are not the 99 percent of constituents, are they?

Fields says there were issues in the area before the tornado, too:

Even before the tornado, there were massive signs of decay on the North Side, and in other parts of the city as well. While I live in Minneapolis, my home is not in the North Side.

But I was raised in New York's South Bronx in the early 1970s, when the place looked like a war zone. Street violence ruled, and politicians busy with their own, self-focused agendas ignored block after block of crumbling, empty and decaying buildings hijacked with crime and infested with drugs.

I know what it's like to live in a community that has been written off. I know, firsthand, what urban decay does to the aspirations of a child. And I understand where it all inevitably leads when we do not have leaders focused on our own community.

Ellison Challenges Filibuster

Ellison has joined grassroots group Common Cause in filing a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

"There's a saying in the U.S. House of Representatives that the enemy isn't Republicans or Democrats, it's the Senate," Ellison told MPR.

Over the years, House members from both parties have complained about the filibuster, which can set a 60-vote threshold to end debate.

"These rules are not in the Constitution and they frustrate the will of the American people," Ellison added.

Still, the lawsuit faces a tough battle, MPR notes. The Constitution does allow the House and Senate to establish their own rules.

Michael Hindin May 25, 2012 at 03:04 PM
In response to 5th Congressional District Republican candidate Chris Fields: Thank you for your military service, but you missed the mark on Representative Keith Ellison. Republican President Bush asked Rep. Keith Ellison to act as a good will ambassador to the Middle East because of his unique qualities. As the first Muslim congressman and an African American, Keith has a reputation for gaining respect (and votes) from Christians, Muslims, Jews and many others at the state and national levels. Keith responded to the call of the president as his duty to our nation. Creating connections and friendships among the emerging leaders of the Arab Spring means that fewer Marines, like you, will be asked to sacrifice life and limb in that region. Keith has and will continue to be available to help our communities in good times and bad. Republican leadership and control of the US House of Representatives stymied all disaster relief and recovery funding for our nation. I have witnessed Rep. Ellison consistently live up to his motto "Everybody Counts Everybody Matters".
Danny Ballard June 18, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Keith Ellison is not the only Black politician who ignores North Minneapolis. To be honest with you, our Black leaders in America has been ignoring Black communities (nationally) concerns for decades. Case in point, where are our Black leaders (nationally) in regard to the Joan Kroc African-American Heritage Fund(which has been established for over 7 years now). Mayor Chris Coleman office holds the money and the paperwork for this fund(400 million dollars + interest). Not one professed Black leader has taken the initiative to organize the community center for the state. Black leaders there are no Black leaders in America (I dare anyone to prove me wrong). Joan Kroc is turning in her grave at Donald Samuel, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Keith Ellison just to name a few Black leaders. See Joan Kroc African American Legacy Fund/ Salvation Army(San Diego)/NAACP(San Diego). Hypocrites does not see what the other person need, only what they can get from the needy person (THERE ARE NO BLACK LEADERS NATIONALLY IN MY EYES, come and discuss the situation with me if in doubt.)
Danny Ballard June 18, 2012 at 07:27 PM
No Keith Ellison does not live up to his motto, "Everybody Counts Everybody Matters". He and other politicians serve only a small group of voters and I for one will not advocate for him again for office. That is me in a picture with him(SEIU 26, during his first run for office) and I will never stand by another politician again, because once in office the politician agenda changes. Mr. Ellison what are you doing with Mayor Chris Coleman to activate the fund for the statewide community center? Just look up Joan Kroc African American Legacy Fund, Salvation Army(San Diego)/NAACP. I believe that a true leader, should at some point in his or her life stand up and be actually accountable to his or her culture group and community on a whole. What do you think about this Mr. Ellison?

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